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Jan 7, 2002  •  Post A Comment

S.F. stations tout ratings after change
Granite Broadcasting-owned KNTV in San Jose, Calif., which became an NBC affiliate on Jan. 1, will become an NBC-owned station in the second quarter and will rebrand itself NBC3-because it is Channel 3 on AT&T Cable, though it is Channel 11 over the air. A KNTV spokesperson said KNTV reaches 99 percent of Bay area cable homes and should reach 100 percent by the end of this month.
Young Broadcasting-owned KRON-TV, the longtime NBC affiliate in the market, turned independent on Jan. 1. KRON General Manager Dino Dinovitz said many viewers in San Francisco proper and in communities to the north, such as Marin County, cannot get over-the-air reception of KNTV.
On Jan. 2, KNTV’s 11 p.m. newscast tied with KRON’s newscast with a 3.8 Nielsen Media Research rating and 9 share. KNTV General Manager Bob Franklin said the transition to becoming an NBC affiliate went well, and the ratings for the first two days were “even better than we had hoped. … We see tremendous potential for continued growth leading into the Winter Olympics and beyond.”
Over at KRON, Mr. Dinovitz said the transition from what was a strong NBC station to an independent also “exceeded our expectations.” Now that KRON does not air network programming, it frees the station for other programming ideas, he said. “Now we have the opportunities to do something at the drop of a hat that makes good television business sense,” Mr. Dinovitz said. “Everything we focus on and do will have to be hyper-local in terms of serving the local Bay area.”
KRON added four newscasts last week, including a two-hour morning show at 7 a.m. anchored by Susan Blake and Mark Mullen, giving viewers a total of four hours of news in the morning. KRON also added a half-hour noon newscast and a 5:30 p.m. newscast, in what was the “NBC Nightly News” slot, anchored by Pam Moore and Mark Mullen. It launched a one-hour 9 p.m. newscast anchored by Pam Moore and Wendy Tokuda, which had a 4.8 rating/8 share on its Jan. 1 debut. At 10 p.m., KRON reruns “Entertainment Tonight” and “Inside Edition,” which first air at 7 p.m.
On Jan. 2, KRON, which now airs a double run of syndicated “Frasier” at 8 p.m., got a 6.2/11 for that hour, while KNTV had a repeat airing of NBC’s “The West Wing” at 8 p.m., which pulled a 5.1/9.
“There was this thought we would be on a suicide watch, people would defect, the lights would go out,” Mr. Dinovitz said. “This has happened before in Phoenix and Miami. The numbers I think speak for themselves. The transition is going to be two to three months. There’s a lot of brave people who stayed. The easiest thing for others to have done is to seek out other places to go.”
KNTV’s rating for the Gator Bowl on Jan. 1 was a 1.8/4, compared with last year’s game, which aired on KRON and scored a 4.3/11. When “West Wing” aired at its regular time Jan. 2 on KNTV, it garnered an 8.6/15, compared with the show’s year-ago airing on Jan. 3 on KRON, when it earned an 11.7/18. According to KRON Research Director Will Keiple, KNTV has a 75 percent delivery of the audience from what KRON’s ratings were a year ago.
Sinclair shutting down WXLV’s news
Sinclair Broadcast Group said its ABC affiliate WXLV-TV, Greensboro, N.C., will air its last newscast at 11 p.m. Jan. 11. In addition to the 11 p.m. show, WXLV also has a 6 p.m. newscast. Up to 35 people will be laid off when the station shuts down its news division.
`McLaughlin’ moves to public TV in L.A.
“The McLaughlin Group” premiered Saturday on PBS station KCET-TV, Los Angeles. It is the first time the show has aired on public television in the market. The show had been on KNBC-TV. “McLaughlin” is in the same 6:30 p.m. Saturday time slot that it had on KNBC. In New York and Washington, the show will continue on NBC-owned WNBC-TV and WRC-TV, respectively.
WGN adds more morning news
Starting Monday, Tribune Broadcasting-owned WB affiliate WGN-TV, Chicago, will start its morning newscast half an hour earlier-at 5:30 a.m.-giving viewers 31/2 hours of news in the morning instead of three hours.